image by faugel
It’s nearly three am. I went to bed, listening to the sound of waves (digitally) to quiet my mind so I can fall asleep, but instead my mind wandered, as it always does. I was thinking of my recent trip to Dublin to visit my sister, which then led to thinking about her, and then this post I wanted to write. So I thought, instead of staying awake thinking about it, I might as well get up and write it.
Family is a funny thing. Blood relations make us related, and for the most part it makes us a family, but not always. Just because you are related to someone by blood, doesn’t really mean that you like them, love them, or want anything to do with them. Even like and love are different emotions. Think about parents who love their children even when the children are horrid teenagers, but they don’t necessarily like their children at that particular stage.
Then you mix in the history that every family has: childhood dramas, conflicting relationships, family politics, and all sorts, and these relationships become even more complicated.
So today’s exercise for you is to answer this question: What does it mean to be a family?
There is no right answer of course. For each person, this answer will be different. Maybe for you, family is your blood family. Or perhaps it’s the urban family of friends you’ve chosen yourself. Maybe it’s your adopted parents, or adopted children. Or maybe it’s a combination of all of these. Whatever it may be for you, think about what this family makes you feel?
Who are the members of these family? And why them, and not all the other people you know.
I have lots of relatives, many of whom I like and even love or at least care for. But when I think about my family, this number grows much smaller. My family are the people I trust absolutely to stand by me no matter what, and the people I would stand by no matter what. They are the people who love me unconditionally. We may, at times, not like aspects of one another but in the end we always love each other more. That is my family.
What about your family?